An Amazing Day in Remote Himalayas
31.10.2009 - 31.10.2009 20 °C
What an amazing day. Woke up not to tooting horns, barking dogs, Bollywood or calls of 'chai chai chai' but with birds singing and the distant tinkle of a stream. Man, we were really in the middle of nowhere. The little funny men in safari suits made us masala omelette and dosa (a kind of rice-based pancake filled with potato and spinach curry, delicious) for brekkie to set us up for our walkabout.
First stop was a local School perched on the hillside, such a beautiful setting. We were to take the children books, pencils and toys that we all contributed. This was so much fun, the kids were excitable, grateful and cheeky. I think the photos speak for themselves, what an experience, very humbling. Walked through the tiny village and really got a feel for how simple but idyllic the lifestyle is there. Interestingly, the fellas just seemed to sit around doing nothing, gossiping or something, whereas the women were busy busy busy doing stuff, working, growing crops, caring for children and cooking. We noticed this a little in the cities, women working on construction sites wearing beautiful saris, but the men seemed to do even less here, hmmmm not the best of deals! Down to the River Kosi for a paddle, clean spring-like mountain air and warm sunshine, perfect. With the right person, I would gladly swap my hectic lifestyle for this tomorrow, maybe spend a couple of years living on the mountainside in the Himalayas. hehe well i can dream.
Finally some time to chill, took a siesta, read a book, the kind of thing that I never have time for. The little funny men had a surprise for us. They had organised chai and pakora overlooking the mountains to watch the sunset. They had carried a table and all the food and drink for a good 30 minute trek to find us a good spot. Talk about hospitality, really couldn't wish for any better.
That evening we all decided on a night safari, again organised by the little guys. We were really not expecting to see anything but were all just going along for the craic. Think it appealed to the British sense of humour as when we asked what we might see the answer was 'mountain goats' whoopeeeee OK lets go! Realised it was actually Halloween and decided a night safari could be fun so happily all signed up to the disclaimer! We were not disapointed, laughed til it hurt. Two jeeps were waiting to take us, we went to get in but oh no, the guys pointed to the roof rack 'sit on there' oooooooo! So we clambered on the bonnet, climbed onto the roofrack, immediately realised why they asked us to sign a disclaimer, it did not feel safe! Asses wedged into the rack, legs dangling over the edge. Halloween Night safari. Very safe obviously!Fuck!
With knuckles going very white from gripping hold of the roof rack, we drove along the edge of a sheer vertical cliff drop in the mountains looking for goats! It was halloween, almost full moon, enough to light up the mountains so we could see the drop down to our death. To top it all, there were landslides on the side of some of the mountains. I tried not to think about it too much. A guy was shining a real powerful torch onto mountains and trees looking for wildlife. So what did we see? Well 1 green snake, an owl, a pig and..... the guy shone his light very excitedly on an abandoned flipflop left in the road!!!! Wow, really worth risking our life. Cue hysterical laughter for most of this trip, we actually had one of the most entertaining evenings and most unusual Halloween ever!